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Hopping Good Time In Afton : Hop Harvest Continues At Area Breweries : 8.5.09

[ 0 ] August 5, 2009 |
Photos By Taylor & Mandi Smack : ©2009 www.nelsoncountylife.com : The folks over at Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton are taking advantage of the great weather to pick their hops!

Photos By Taylor & Mandi Smack : ©2009 www.nelsoncountylife.com : The folks over at Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton are taking advantage of the great weather to pick their hops!

Afton
Nelson County, Virginia

Earlier this week we talked about the hop harvest underway here in Nelson. For a county that’s been so accustomed to picking grapes, it’s now becoming commonplace to hear about the hop harvest at Nelson’s microbreweries. At Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton, it’s been a busy week as they pick their hops coming in as well. “We did a hand-select picking of the ready cones and then did our final cut-down harvest last Monday. The hand select hops went into a “harvest” edition of Full Nelson an hour after they were picked, and because of Virginia’s climate and our early season, we may lay claim to the first commercially available Northern Hemisphere “wet-hopped” harvest beer (New Zealand’s hops are already out and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. does a “Southern Hemisphere” wet-hopped beer in the early summer). Our wet-hopped harvest edition Full Nelson will be out next week,” says Taylor Smack, co-owner and Brewmaster at BMB.

Hops in the kettle at Blue Mountain Brewery.

Hops in the kettle at Blue Mountain Brewery.

“The hops from our big harvest, the cut-down harvest, were dried at 140 degrees for 12 hours in several batches in our mash tun, which we’ve figured out how to use as an “oast-house” (hop-drying facility) so we can dry, vacuum seal and use the bulk of our hops in Full Nelson throughout the year,” Taylor adds. Incidentally we have a neat story about BMB canning their Full Nelson in our August 2009 issue our now. It’s on page 37, view online by clicking here.

Folks at Blue Mountain separate the hops.

Folks at Blue Mountain separate the hops.

Going to be some mighty good beer here in Nelson this year!

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